Bitesize has changed! We're updating subjects as fast as we can. Visit our new site to find Bitesize guides and clips - and tell us what you think!

Science

Life processes

Print

MRS GREN

Living things have certain life processes in common. There are seven things that they need to do to count as being alive. The phrase MRS GREN is a way to remember them:

M Movement All living things move, even plants
R Respiration Getting energy from food
S Sensitivity Detecting changes in the surroundings
G Growth All living things grow
R Reproduction Making more living things of the same type
E Excretion Getting rid of waste
N Nutrition Taking in and using food

It can be easy to tell if something is living or not. A teddy bear might look like a bear, but it can't do any of the seven things it needs to be able to do to count as being alive.

What about a car? A car can move, it gets energy from petrol (like nutrition), it might have a car alarm (sensitivity), and it gets rid of waste gases through its exhaust pipe (excretion). But it can't grow or make baby cars. So a car is not alive.

Activity

Life processes activity

Fancy visiting Mrs Gren?

Play

Whack Attack

Whack and zap mad professors and aliens!

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.